Opinions on a 9' Baldwin

Posted by: Hunt

Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/01/13 06:49 PM

Been awhile since I have posted here. In the past you guys have been extremely helpful with your comeback.

Here is the deal:

I am looking at a 1968 Baldwin Grand and I would like to get your very valued opinions on this instrument.

It was bought new in 1968 by a University. The University is going all Stienway and the music store that has it took many Baldwin pianos in on trade. Most were 6 footers which have been refurbished and sold. This 9' is I think the only one they got. From the looks of the case it has been played alot and probably hard. I do not believe this piano sat on a stage covered most of time and used now and then for a concert. It also has only belonged to this University over these years.

The store I am dealing with is the most reputable store in my city and a large store that does a great deal of business. I currently have a 7' Young Chang I purchased there about a year ago. The Young Chang is an excellent instrument by the way.

They tell me this one will be completely reworked, the case, the action etc. I don't know if they are going to replace the hammers.

They are going to be asking around 20k for the piano.

I would like to hear some opinions of this particular instrument and any feedback since I have told you the history and your opinions on the price.

Your opinions are so very welcome.

Thanks.
Posted by: Nash. Piano Rescue

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/01/13 07:22 PM

I have one here at my place but mine is an SD-6. I think it is a 1950s model so not sure if that model carried over to the 1960s. If theirs is completely rebuilt and refinished that sounds like an okay price to me.

Mine has full Midi send and receive the IQ player system and has also been rebuilt, has the top of the line damp chaser system on it but its 29K too. So at 20 K for that one I guess it just depends on what it sounds like and the overall quality of the job when it's done.

Just my two cents
Posted by: Steven Y. A.

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/01/13 07:27 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJL8iC4iz5M

one of my favorite recording smile
on this piano
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/01/13 07:39 PM

Hunt :

I don't think that anyone can give you an honest or valuable opinion on this particular instrument. When the dealer says it is going to be "completely reworked" that says nothing about how "complete" the work will be. Will it be a rebuild or just a refurbishing? What will be "reworked" and what parts will be used?

No one can say, either, what the quality of the work will be nor what the resulting feel and sound of the piano will be until the work is finished. When that is done, then an independent piano technician can give you an opinion on this particular instrument; until then one can only guess.

Regards,
Posted by: beethoven986

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/01/13 07:44 PM

Before you buy, you need to consider this very carefully (and consider the points in the post immediately preceding mine), and have the piano inspected by an independent technician.

While 9' Baldwins (considering year of manufacture, it should be an SD-10) can be exceptional, I would be very wary of a 45 year old university piano. They take lots of abuse (whatever you're thinking that means, probably multiply it by 5-10 and that's how much abuse they get). Now, I'm speculating, but I'd imagine a piano in this type of environment would need a pretty comprehensive rebuild:

1. New action
2. New pin block, re-capped bridge, new strings
3. Possibly a new soundboard
4. Refinishing

I don't imagine this can be done for $20,000. So, you should ask for, in writing, what they plan to do to it. In all likelihood, you're probably better off sticking with the Young Chang!
Posted by: Hunt

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/01/13 07:46 PM

I have my personal piano technician, who is also a fabulous pianist himself watching over this rehab for me. I can assure you I will know every tiny little thing that has been done to this instrument. What I'm looking for is the expertise of anyone who knows Baldwins and with the age and history what they think of this particular 1968 instrument. My experience to date on this site has been excellent with all of the older teky's who are on here.
Posted by: Peter K. Mose

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/01/13 07:50 PM

Right, just say that you look forward to trying it when it's ready for sale, as you might be interested if it turns out well.

If you want us to say that a nine-foot Baldwin from the 1960s is potentially a fine piano, I'll say it. As for the price, that sounds ok, if everything checks out ok. No doubt there will be room for dickering.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/01/13 08:03 PM

Hi Hunt,

The Baldwin SD10 is considered to be one of the "great" instruments. In 1968, Baldwin was building at the top of their game. So, without some catastrophic occurance, like fire or flood, the basic piano should be sound.

As others have said, there is no way to evaluate what will be done to it or the skill of the rebuilder. "Reworked" is a rather vague term. Did you play any of the other pianos they worked on? You might already have an opinion about the quality of their work.

If you would share with us your location and the name of the shop, the members may have direct knowledge or experience with the rebuilder.

$20K for a primo SD10 would be a great, great deal!
Posted by: PianoWorksATL

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/01/13 08:16 PM

An ex-University concert grand after that many years is usually an all or nothing proposition. $20k does not really cover all. Those big Baldwins can be among the best bargains around as a platform for rebuilding. They have huge musical potential but stopping short of a complete job leads to disappointing results.

Here's a slightly earlier one we sold last Fall:
1955 Baldwin SD6 - Rebuilt

In this case, the work alone exceeded $20k, but the results were worth it.
Posted by: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/01/13 11:29 PM

I second Sam's advice. Although I think the SD-6's are a better core for rebuilding. I am not a fan of the capo bar string terminater inserts that the SD-10's have. If I were to do an SD-10 I would modify that section to convert to upside down agraffes. This will add to the cost significantly. I have a 1946 SD-6 with new everything that has a fantastic full concert grand sound, it is listed at $55K with all the usual warranty, moving, tuning, and bench.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/02/13 12:48 AM

Quote:
An ex-University concert grand after that many years is usually an all or nothing proposition. $20k does not really cover all. Those big Baldwins can be among the best bargains around as a platform for rebuilding. They have huge musical potential but stopping short of a complete job leads to disappointing results.



+1.

Proof will be in the pudding after all is done and finished. Could at least be worth checking out.

Norbert smile
Posted by: Karl Watson

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/02/13 08:17 AM

Friends:

I wonder if I'm alone in preferring the older SD6 to the more recent SD10 ?

Friends "in the biz" assured me that Abbey Simon vastly preferred them, as did Arrau, who went over to Steinway at that point.

I did once hear a beautiful SD10 played by Earl Wild at a Carnegie Hall concert in the early '90s. It had been prepared by their then resident but now deceased Russian tech.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island
Posted by: PianoWorksATL

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/02/13 09:36 AM

Originally Posted By: Karl Watson
I wonder if I'm alone in preferring the older SD6 to the more recent SD10 ?
The SD6 is also my preference.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/02/13 10:43 AM

As a pianist, I think it is the 'Baldwin Sound' that is so appealing. Seems to me that it comes from either design and it is the tech that keeps it so. Neither should be easily dismissed and it really gets down to minutia. Either one is OK with me.
Posted by: Karl Watson

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/02/13 11:43 AM

Marty:

I agree with you but just slightly. The older designs of the 9 & 7 ft. pianos yielded a much darker and more round sound, at to my ears. In fact, I've never heard the newer pianos produce that sound.

The SD10 that I heard in NYC in the early '90s was voiced "up" to produce a big sound for concert purposes but was so gorgeously regulated and finished that one admired it regardless.

One thing that I've noticed is that the older concert grands had a much more focused and clear bass. The bass of the newer jobs always remind me of bass drums.

Thanks for your comment which is well-taken in other contexts.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/02/13 12:13 PM

Well Karl, you have your ears and I have mine. My experience is playing them and not listening to them in performance. I find the difference to be the individual instrument and its voicing and not the particular era or model number of the piano.
Posted by: ScottM

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/02/13 12:51 PM

Ruth Laredo played on a SD-10 in her recording of the Scriabin Sonatas. It is a great recording (and samples can probably be heard on retail sites). I think the sound of that piano was ideal for the music. A perfect match.
Posted by: Karl Watson

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/02/13 08:56 PM

Marty:

I don't mean to deny you the last word on this, as I believe you always achieve that without any encouragement, but I am, in a small way, a pianist and am not excluding playing from this discussion, quite the contrary.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY
Posted by: beethoven986

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/02/13 09:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
I find the difference to be the individual instrument and its voicing and not the particular era or model number of the piano.


Exactly right!
Posted by: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/02/13 10:25 PM

The Baldwin 9' from 1910 to somewhere in the 1920,s or 30,s (they do not have the SD-6 on the plate) have a strike point ratio problem in the octave above middle C. The agraffes are swept closer to the strike line and this raises the strike ratio dramatically resulting in a more thin, nasal and woody tone. I don't want to rebuild them.
The SD-6 has the lightest bridge of any piano I have seen. The laminated root of the bridge is alternating spruce and maple. The bridge elevations are quite low also. I like the light bridge but not the low elevations. The SD-10 bridge is taller, (more like a Steinway D) but all laminated maple.

The Russian emigre technician you mentioned must have been Andrei Svelichtny. I spent an afternoon with him and found it most enlightening. It was sad he died so young.
Posted by: PianoWorksATL

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/02/13 10:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
The Baldwin 9' from 1910 to somewhere in the 1920,s or 30,s
That era was Baldwin model D. I wonder where they thought of that?
Posted by: Karl Watson

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/03/13 05:13 PM

Dear Ed McM:

You are quite right, it was Andrei Svelichtny. I met him once and found him to be charming. He was totally submerged in his work and seemed to live through every aspect of the piano's action and tone. He gave the impression of being an absolute genius of piano tech. I've never heard or PLAYED an SD-10 with the sound and sensitivity of the instruments that he prepared.

I'm quite confused when people assert that SD-6 or SD-10 makes not difference and that it is the characteristic, family tone that is their bond. I'm afraid I don't hear it. I've played many SD-6s, and they have ALL had a strong family resemblance. Most of the SD-10s that I've played have reminded me strongly of Asian pianos of the second rank. BUT, I'm aware that they CAN be good with careful regulation, just not especially Baldwin-ish, at least to my poor old ears and feeble fingers.

I admire and appreciate your contributions to this forum, Ed, where ever and when ever I read them.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/03/13 06:57 PM

Mr. Watson,

Has the original question penetrated your closed mind? The OP has a lead on an SD-10. Do you feel it does any service to him to slam the instrument and basically tell him to go shop for an SD-6? If you think that an SD-10 is a lesser piano than "Asian pianos of the second rank," you are totally unequipped to make any judgement, whatsoever.

I don't know what your gripe is, but you sure are rude.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/03/13 07:24 PM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Mr. Watson,

Has the original question penetrated your closed mind? The OP has a lead on an SD-10. Do you feel it does any service to him to slam the instrument and basically tell him to go shop for an SD-6? If you think that an SD-10 is a lesser piano than "Asian pianos of the second rank," you are totally unequipped to make any judgement, whatsoever.

I don't know what your gripe is, but you sure are rude.
Except he hasn't been rude in the slightest. He simply gave his view of the two Baldwins. You disagree with it but another knowledgeable poster basically agreed with him. Your last post, however, is clearly and undeniably rude.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/03/13 08:37 PM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Mr. Watson,

Has the original question penetrated your closed mind? The OP has a lead on an SD-10. Do you feel it does any service to him to slam the instrument and basically tell him to go shop for an SD-6? If you think that an SD-10 is a lesser piano than "Asian pianos of the second rank," you are totally unequipped to make any judgement, whatsoever.

I don't know what your gripe is, but you sure are rude.
Except he hasn't been rude in the slightest. He simply gave his view of the two Baldwins. You disagree with it but another poster basically agreed with him. Your last post, however, is clearly and undeniably rude.


Yes, I intended it to be rude to Mr. Watson as he has been so dismissive of my opinion. Neither he, nor you, know of what I hear in any given instrument. Judge ye not.

Mr. Watson was rude in not considering the OP's reason for this thread and threw out opinions which provided no information for the OP.

This is not a thread about the merits of various Baldwin models. It is a thread about the potential purchase of a specific piano.
Posted by: Karl Watson

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/03/13 11:09 PM

It's difficult to understand all this vitriol or to know how to reply to it. The vehemence and intensity expressed are quite beyond my ability to grasp. I suppose one should just slip away quietly and avoid posting one's opinion in future.

My father always maintained that a gentleman was one who did the gracious thing. If it is my responsibility to apologise for having given offense, I do so now, and sincerely.

This is such a wonderful forum, affording a unique opportunity to exchange information and to learn. I would not want to contribute to any confusion or fuzzy thinking.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island
Posted by: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/04/13 01:27 AM

Karl, I enjoyed your comments and hope the "rougher" hands on the computer keyboard who post here do not drive you away.
Posted by: JohnSprung

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/04/13 02:20 AM

Hmmm.... So they're going to be asking around $20K when it's done. If they haven't started on it, perhaps ask what they'd want for it in as-is condition right now.

If you can buy it that way and have the work done on your nickel to your taste, that may be a more cost effective way of turning it into the piano you want. You may even have them do the work, but by being the owner rather than a potential customer, you'll get it done your way, and they don't have to front the capital investment in the work. Perhap a win-win.

Having a 9 ft myself (Knabe from 1929), I'd love to be able to say, just go for it, they're wonderful. But, of course, use common sense. If your independent tech OK's the deal and the price is right, then go for it, they're wonderful to have at home. I've never regretted having mine.
Posted by: Ken Knapp

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/04/13 08:58 AM

Rudeness, perceived or not, does not excuse more rudeness. There is no excuse for anyone on here being rude to anyone else.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/04/13 09:58 AM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Yes, I intended it to be rude to Mr. Watson as he has been so dismissive of my opinion. Neither he, nor you, know of what I hear in any given instrument. Judge ye not.
He simply disagreed and was not at all dismissive. In fact, he was particularly nice in the way he expressed his disagreement. What "you hear" has nothing to do with what is an appropriate way to express your opinion about what you hear.

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Mr. Watson was rude in not considering the OP's reason for this thread and threw out opinions which provided no information for the OP.

This is not a thread about the merits of various Baldwin models. It is a thread about the potential purchase of a specific piano.
Mr. Watson was not rude at all to anyone. The idea that any thread has to remain 100% focused on the exact questions in the opening post is very silly. The huge majority of threads at PW would be considered "rude" used that criteria. In this case, the mentioning of another related Baldwin model was actually very relevant and reasonable.

Posted by: Hunt

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/04/13 10:11 AM

I thank each and everyone for his/her opinion. I stirred up quite a lot of attention on this one. As I said in my original post everytime I have posted on this forum the feedback has been great. A favorite story of mine is the 1st time I posted on here several years back asking about an old upright that I found at an estate sale that had a beautiful case but, needed a lot of work. It was not even playable.

The responses were: put it on the curb, take it outside and put a match to it, and so on. It was classic but, I didn't buy it either. From that time I have had 3 grands (not 9 footers) ending with my current 7' Y/C which I really love.

The store that has this piano is the store I bought the Young Chang from. They are an excellent music store with an extensive rebuilding department. They do top notch work. They guaranteed the Y/C for 1 year and will guarantee the 9' for 2 years. My piano technician, who used to rebuild pianos for this same music store I called the other day and asked him to keep his nose in the middle of it. He no longer works as a technician there but,he contracts out for the store to do work at people's homes. Thus, how I found him. Plus he is a heck of a pianist. He has a group called the Tony Thomas Trio.

To what extent the work is that will be done to this piano that is yet to be seen.

I like the idea of buying it as is and having someone like my technician do the work to it.

On the sd6 or sd10 discussion I don't know yet which it is but, I will certainly find out.

So, it is not a done deal yet I just have to see how the stars line up. Thanks again for the feedback and anymore is always appreciated.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/04/13 12:24 PM

Hi Hunt,

If it was indeed built in the mid to late 60's, it would be an SD-10. Despite the nitpicking and naysayers, it is a very fine piano. (IMNSHO)

Let us know how you decide to proceed.
Posted by: John Pels

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/07/13 11:43 PM

Hmmm...pretty tough crowd! As I always tend to opine, evaluate each piano on its merits and act accordingly. I owned and rebuilt a 1912 D Baldwin. It was a wonderful instrument. I have played tons of SD6's, and most were marvelous. I have high hopes for a rebuild of an SD10 I presently own. I just find it too hard to dismiss out of hand any of the Baldwin 9 footers because of some perceived deficiencies or anomalies. My feeling is that if you can't get happy with an SD10, it's likely not the piano.
Posted by: carey

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/08/13 12:50 AM

Originally Posted By: John Pels
My feeling is that if you can't get happy with an SD10, it's likely not the piano.

thumb thumb thumb
Posted by: beethoven986

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/08/13 04:44 AM

Originally Posted By: John Pels
My feeling is that if you can't get happy with an SD10, it's likely not the piano.


I've played a lot of 9' pianos that I absolutely hated.... and it wasn't me. Certainly an SD-10 can be great, but they often need quite a bit of help to get there, especially if they've spent the last 50 years as a university piano.
Posted by: beethoven986

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/08/13 04:53 AM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Despite the nitpicking and naysayers, it is a very fine piano. (IMNSHO)


I don't think anyone here denies that the SD-10 has a lot of potential. The concerns that have been expressed relate to the fact that this is a 50 year old university piano of unknown condition and fuzzy details about work to be done on it for a final sale price of $20,000.... an amount that will almost certainly not be enough to cover everything the piano needs to reach its full potential (keep in mind the dealer probably had to pay somewhere between $5,000-$10,000 for it to begin with). Since the OP already has a piano that he loves, he absolutely should be nitpicking.... this is a huge commitment, one that will be difficult to get rid of if he falls victim to buyer's remorse.
Posted by: PianoWorksATL

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/08/13 12:42 PM

Originally Posted By: beethoven986
keep in mind the dealer probably had to pay somewhere between $5,000-$10,000 for it to begin with
I'm pretty sure it would be sub-$5k. I have an unrestored but playable SD6, post-University, and I'll sell it today for $5k. The cost is almost completely in the work performed. The value is completely in the outcome.
Posted by: beethoven986

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/08/13 06:16 PM

Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
keep in mind the dealer probably had to pay somewhere between $5,000-$10,000 for it to begin with
I'm pretty sure it would be sub-$5k. I have an unrestored but playable SD6, post-University, and I'll sell it today for $5k. The cost is almost completely in the work performed. The value is completely in the outcome.


You could very well be right. I was merely speculating. Since we don't know what condition it's in, I could see it just as easily be sub $5,000 as it could be $5,000-$10,000 though probably closer to $5,000. Either way, I think we agree that a $20,000 final price would probably not cover everything the piano needs to perform optimally.
Posted by: John Pels

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/09/13 01:35 AM



"I've played a lot of 9' pianos that I absolutely hated.... and it wasn't me. Certainly an SD-10 can be great, but they often need quite a bit of help to get there, especially if they've spent the last 50 years as a university piano."

I've played lots of brand new 9 footers on the showroom floor that were junk. I have yet to play any Baldwin D, SD6 or SD10 that I felt that way about. I'm not so much worried about the piano being up to the task as I am the performer. The other part of being a university piano that gets no airplay is the fact that they CAN be better maintained than any of the other pianos in an institutional setting. I don't know how many different sets of hammers nor how many regulations I saw for stage pianos during my college years, but I DO know that none of the practice pianos got any.

Doom and gloom is all I ever hear at PW. It can be such a depressing place. Play the danged piano and go from there. Not everything needs to be restrung, not everything needs a bridge recapped. A new set of hammers properly shaped and installed and a decent regulation will go far towards making any instrument play and sound fabulous. Heck, my own piano needs hammers and a regulation and I still love playing it every day just for the ever loving glory of doing so. She's a cruel mistress that beckons every time I walk by.
Posted by: beethoven986

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/09/13 04:37 AM

Originally Posted By: John Pels
I've played lots of brand new 9 footers on the showroom floor that were junk. I have yet to play any Baldwin D, SD6 or SD10 that I felt that way about.


We have vastly different experiences, then (Baldwin in general). I've come across many of these Baldwins that sound like... harpsichords with a Mack truck feel. I think they can be great.... I chose an '80s SD-10 for my grad recitals over the house Steinway D, but they're often junk without divine intervention.

Originally Posted By: John Pels
I'm not so much worried about the piano being up to the task as I am the performer.


That's fine. I worry about both, and more to the point, I don't think the piano should impede music making, and all to often, it does just that!


Originally Posted By: John Pels
The other part of being a university piano that gets no airplay is the fact that they CAN be better maintained than any of the other pianos in an institutional setting. I don't know how many different sets of hammers nor how many regulations I saw for stage pianos during my college years, but I DO know that none of the practice pianos got any.


Universities vary widely with their piano policies. One of my alma maters had six Steinway Ds (four performance and two rehearsal) and all but one of them was probably used 10 hours a day and rather poor climate control. My second alma mater was almost tyrannical with hall use and good humidity control, and those pianos were indeed in great condition. Depending on how much work is done to this piano, it may not matter, but we can only speculate, so it is prudent to be cautious.

Originally Posted By: John Pels
Doom and gloom is all I ever hear at PW. It can be such a depressing place. Play the danged piano and go from there. Not everything needs to be restrung, not everything needs a bridge recapped. A new set of hammers properly shaped and installed and a decent regulation will go far towards making any instrument play and sound fabulous.


Well, of course. Sometimes, it's the simplest things that make all the difference. Back in December, my new SF-10 client wanted me to do something to make the piano easier to play. I polished and lubricated the pins/capstans, sized the key bushings, and Teflon coated the knuckles. No fancy Stanwood TD.... just basic prep. The client was floored with the difference.


Originally Posted By: John Pels
Heck, my own piano needs hammers and a regulation and I still love playing it every day just for the ever loving glory of doing so. She's a cruel mistress that beckons every time I walk by.


I'm glad you like yours. I need to call my tuner to come do some stuff to mine... oh, wait wink
Posted by: Keith D Kerman

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/09/13 04:49 PM

Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Originally Posted By: John Pels
I've played lots of brand new 9 footers on the showroom floor that were junk. I have yet to play any Baldwin D, SD6 or SD10 that I felt that way about.


We have vastly different experiences, then (Baldwin in general). I've come across many of these Baldwins that sound like... harpsichords with a Mack truck feel. I think they can be great.... I chose an '80s SD-10 for my grad recitals over the house Steinway D, but they're often junk without divine intervention.


I have to strongly agree with Beethoven here. We see a lot of big Baldwin grands, 7' and 9', and just when we think we have seen the Baldwin that sets the record for most dysfunctional action ( always on the heavy side )we get another that beats it. I like the comparison to a harpsichord with a Mack truck feel, although they can make me think of tom toms. I also like the junk without divine intervention comment. These pianos can just be so wrong. No amount of regulating/removal of friction etc means anything. The problems go much deeper and must be corrected.
When they are correct, they can be wonderful. The design is not the problem.











Posted by: John Pels

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/10/13 12:02 AM

Well, my SD10 spent a few days with Neptune down in new Orleans and has a more interesting tale to tell than likely the accumulated tales of woe of both 986 and Keith K. When it finally resurrects it should make for quite an epistle . Of course If I thought for a second that it would end up with a King Kong action or a less than ideal sound, I likely wouldn't put forth the effort. And YES it WILL need a new pinblock, and yes it WILL need a new bridge, and yes it WILL need some remedial work on the action, but that said, I might just rebuild the original Renner action because no one apparently makes a decent copy of the Schwander style wippens these days, and they are so much easier to regulate than anything else on the planet. I think that somehow, having the original action still functioning would be kind of neat.The soundboard is in pretty amazing condition despite the history. I only regret having to refinish the plate (which is covered with rust), because it was signed by some famous luminaries and local jazz players. I never intended to sell off my original "D" Baldwin, but I needed to buy some real-estate and something had to give. Hopefully the SD10 will fill those 1912 shoes.

Just trying to shake off all the never-ending doom and gloom here at PW.
Posted by: beethoven986

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/10/13 01:13 AM

Originally Posted By: John Pels
Well, my SD10 spent a few days with Neptune down in new Orleans....



Well, as I said, these things are often junk without divine intervention. In this case, I'm interpreting it quite literally. grin



Originally Posted By: John Pels
and has a more interesting tale to tell than likely the accumulated tales of woe of both 986 and Keith K.


Do we really need to make this a contest? I'll slingshot mine into Lake Michigan (along with my car, but that's a different story).


Originally Posted By: John Pels
Of course If I thought for a second that it would end up with a King Kong action or a less than ideal sound, I likely wouldn't put forth the effort.


IMO, the end result is up to you!

Originally Posted By: John Pels
because no one apparently makes a decent copy of the Schwander style wippens these days, and they are so much easier to regulate than anything else on the planet.


Oh, come, now. Butterfly springs aren't that bad. That said, they are kind of annoying, aren't they?


Originally Posted By: John Pels
Just trying to shake off all the never-ending doom and gloom here at PW.


I won't speak for the others, but I'm guilty as charged, however, I won't apologize for it! It's a love-hate thing. As a fellow pianist, I'm sure you understand.
Posted by: beethoven986

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/10/13 01:15 AM

Originally Posted By: Keith D Kerman
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Originally Posted By: John Pels
I've played lots of brand new 9 footers on the showroom floor that were junk. I have yet to play any Baldwin D, SD6 or SD10 that I felt that way about.


We have vastly different experiences, then (Baldwin in general). I've come across many of these Baldwins that sound like... harpsichords with a Mack truck feel. I think they can be great.... I chose an '80s SD-10 for my grad recitals over the house Steinway D, but they're often junk without divine intervention.




I have to strongly agree with Beethoven here. We see a lot of big Baldwin grands, 7' and 9', and just when we think we have seen the Baldwin that sets the record for most dysfunctional action ( always on the heavy side )we get another that beats it. I like the comparison to a harpsichord with a Mack truck feel, although they can make me think of tom toms. I also like the junk without divine intervention comment. These pianos can just be so wrong. No amount of regulating/removal of friction etc means anything. The problems go much deeper and must be corrected.
When they are correct, they can be wonderful. The design is not the problem.






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Posted by: Hunt

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/10/13 05:39 PM

My goodness this has been going on for a while. Haven't looked at this post in a few days and was surprised to see so much activity.

I'll give you an update. Went by the store yesterday and the piano is still not set up yet. I have not yet gotten a really good look at it. They said they were going to set it up this week.

Maybe some of you guys missed this in my previous post but, this was a University that transitioned from Baldwin to Steinway. This was a huge trade for this school they traded in many many baldwins 2 of them being 9'. I highly doubt the music store has much in this piano. And, once again, I don't know and they don't know what is going to be done to it yet because it is in a storage room on its side.

So, that is the latest. I can tell you this. I love a really nice 9 footer but, this one is going to have to really send me when I play it or I will stick with the 7' y/c I have until I find the 9 footer of my dreams.

I take it from the feedback there are many stores out there that would do a slip shot job on an instrument like this. This store has been in business for more than 50 years and has the reputation for being one of the finest stores in the South. I don't have a doubt that the work that will be done to this piano will be of the utmost quality and by me going by and seeing what is going on and my technician having his nose in the middle of it we will know every detail of what is or is not being done.

By the way, I asked my technician if he would be interested in doing the work as someone posted earlier but, he declined. He doesn't have the time.

Will keep you updated.
Posted by: Supply

Re: Opinions on a 9' Baldwin - 02/10/13 06:42 PM

Originally Posted By: Hunt
... This store has been in business for more than 50 years and has the reputation for being one of the finest stores in the South. I don't have a doubt that the work that will be done to this piano will be of the utmost quality and by me going by and seeing what is going on and my technician having his nose in the middle of it we will know every detail of what is or is not being done. ...
A good retail store does not make a good rebuilder. There are many excellent stores and dealers out there that do not have a real rebuilding workshop or even technicians on staff who can do this kind of work. It is good to hear that in your situation this doesn't seem to be the case.